Work "like a woman": The construction of femininity and the female body in the Japanese job hunting

15.10.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our first virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Anna Lughezzani explores the construction of femininity and the female body in the Japanese job hunting (shūkatsu)


Shūkatsu (就活), namely job-hunting, is a salient moment in the life of a university student in Japan: if they succeed, they will become shakaijin, proper members of society. An anthropopoietic rite of passage in which the Japanese society molds its youth into adults, shūkatsu inscribes in them socio-culturally constructed ideas of “right” femininity and masculinity, and normative female/male roles in the enterprise-society and in the family, by molding their bodies through various bodily techiques that set boys and girls apart. Nine months of ethnographic fieldwork in Tokyo informed a research on the ways female university students experience shūkatsu and make their first career choice, and on the different ways companies adopt in order to appeal to female and male possible candidates, in the context of Japanese demographic crisis, labor shortage, and Abe’s “Womenomics”, on a national scale, and governor Koike’s “Josei ga kagayaku Tokyo” campaign, on a municipal one.


Anna Lughezzani is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at University of Padova, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and University of Verona (Italy). She has a BA in Japanese Studies and an MA in anthropology both from Ca’ Foscari, Venice. For her master thesis, Bodies and Identities of Women in the Shūshoku Katsudo. An ethnography of job hunting among female university students in Tokyo she spent nine months doing field research at Waseda University in Tokyo. Now, her research focuses on the koseki, the Japanese family register, and the problem of the mukosekiji, the unregistered children.

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-10-15, 18:30~20:00 (iCal)
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

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Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Work "like a woman" - Poster

Anna Lughezzani